Death award in school : Caste-virus 001HP2008


Himachal Pradesh (state)
DEATH of a 16-year-old Dalit school boy in Himachal Pradesh has shocked the people of Una district. The Dalit people are up in arms against the incident and the way the situation is being handled both by the police and the people of higher castes.

Surjit, a class X student died after he was beaten up by an upper caste teacher in Nangal Kalan government high school of Una district, Himachal Pardesh for writing a verse in appreciation of an upper caste girl.The political heat has also started simmering over the case and the issue has now taken a political overtone. Local Congress MLA Mukesh Agnihotri said he would ensure justice to the family. School headmaster, Bhagat Ram, expressed his ignorance about the incident saying he was out of school on that day.

The village pradhan (head) Gyan Kaur alleged that the boy was beaten up by his school teacher in the Nangal Kalan government high school in public. “Classmates of the decease reported when the teacher came to know about Surjit’s love poem, he caned him till he almost dropped dead.” Kaur said. She told that the Surjit had died after being beaten up by his teacher. His crime was that he had allegedly written a love letter in verse to a school girl belonging to some upper cast.The accused teacher Bahadur Singh, is on leave and is inaccessible. The ordeal of the deceased did not end there only, he was again beaten up by the family members of the girl. The deceased was later found semi-conscious and taken to the hospital but succumbed to injuries. The postmortem report is awaited to establish what caused the boy’s death. Police haven’t revealed any motive behind his unnatural death.Local politicians have sought an inquiry into the incident as the police appear to be siding with the upper caste girl’s family and the teacher.

After the cremation of Surjeet, a strange silence prevails in the village and some villagers say that the accused teacher is now trying to compromise with Surjit’s family members. Pressure has been made by giving a hefty amount to his parents. Local Dalits maintain that it is a serious issue and must be investigated.However, others say that the Dalits are unnecessarily raking up this issue. According to villagers, the deal was settled for rupees two lakh. The poor parents have been compensated for the death of their child.

The panchayat pradhan pressed Surjit’s father not to sign the deal. However, poverty and pressure from influential people seemed to have weighed heavy on the mind of the poor. She also revealed that the accused teacher came before the panchayat and admitted his mistake. “I feel bad about it. Being a part of the panchayat, I have no option but to bow before the decision of others,” she added.
The father of the decease Telu Ram, a labourer, said is a poor person and does not have resources to fight the case in the court. “How can I think of filing a case? I have no money.” His mother, Kaushalaya was inconsolable. She blamed school teacher for the death of her son. However, she is keeping mum on the issue after a deal was struck between the family and the teacher. A sum of rupees two lakh was allegedly paid to the family.

On the other hand Gyaneshwar Singh, superintendent of police Una, Other  when asked why no case had been registered in this regard, said, “The police were still investigating the case. He said since the police had received no complaint, FIR was not registered. However, the police were investigating the case under Section 174 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC).” The SP said he had not yet seen the copy of postmortem report.
However, doctors told that though there were blunt injury marks on the body, they concluded that none of them were fatal. The cause of death could only be ascertained after the chemical examination of viscera. Mukesh Agnihotri, local Congress MLA, is upset over the incident and wants the matter probed.


Source: MeriNews

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